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Slipshod, slapdash and plain unprofessional

We’re guessing that RiverOak are even harder up for cash than we thought they were. Their recent “consultation” events have been staffed by a couple of RiverOak people (sometimes only one at a time) and maybe a consultant or two and then some Save Manston Airport campaigners have been doing the rest.

There are quite a number of problems with this approach. Residents have been told some extraordinary things by SMA members in their new role as RiverOak wannabes, like:

“It’ll be mainly passenger flights and there’ll be 12 flights a day.”

“I don’t actually know what that part is on the plan of the airport, but I think it must be what you’re asking. Yes, I’m sure it will be.”


An SMA member has been acting as a bouncer, telling residents to shut up when they’ve been asking Tony Freudmann questions that he clearly didn’t want to answer. He’s then been boasting about his behaviour on social media and has been congratulated by his SMA collaeagues.

SMA members have been handling the personal details of any resident who was incautious enough to leave written feedback or contact details. They’ve then been discussing these feedback forms on social media. No respect for confidentiality and we dread to think what will happen with those contact details. Data protection, anyone?

Whilst it’s nice to see SMA generously keeping down costs for poor little RiverOak, it’s an extraordinary choice for RiverOak’s Directors to have made. RiverOak has just allowed a campaign group with a reputation for aggression to handle a public informal consultation. How inappropriate. Still, it does kind of demonstrate what we knew, which is that RiverOak really doesn’t want to hear any dissenting views about its cargo airport plan and its implications for those of us who actually live here (unlike them, of course).

The reports back that we are receiving are priceless (more to come, people) and have done absolutely nothing to make RiverOak look like a serious, professional, private equity group. Maybe it’s time to rechristen SMA “Save RiverOak”? After all, it looks as if SMA will do anything that RiverOak ask, regardless of how inappropriate it is.

What an absolute eye-opener these events have been.

Courtesy of Manston Pickle

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